10 tips to finding the perfect travel insurance policy

Coloured umbrellasRecently kiosks selling travel insurance have started springing-up in airports, which might seem like a smart solution for anyone who has forgotten to get cover. However, as every holidaymaker knows nothing is cheap in airports (from snacks to currency) and travel insurance is no exception. In fact, one leading insurer found that insurance at airports can cost four times as much as online, they also found that you’ll pay a premium for cover bought from a travel agent or airline. The solution’s simple: plan ahead and take the following tips:

Apples & Oranges When it comes to finding the right travel insurance it’s important to compare like with like. Rock bottom premiums can come at a cost and sometimes aren’t worth the paper they are printed on, but that doesn’t mean you need to pay through the nose. Instead start by deciding on the level of cover you want and then compare policies to find the best price. Key benefits to look out for when considering cover include: medical expenses (£1 million) cancellation or curtailment (£3,000) lost or damaged luggage (£1,500) and cash (£250). However, it’s important to bear in mind the individual circumstances of your holiday.

Active Exclusions If adrenaline is an essential part of your holiday you can reasonably expect to pay an additional premium, but you might be surprised at what’s considered ‘risky’. Activities which are covered vary between providers, with some excluding ‘everyday’ pursuits such as hiking or horse riding, while others include more hazardous activities such as scuba diving.

Medical Matters Emergency medical claims account for the lion’s share of travel insurance pay-outs and can be a minefield for anyone with a ‘pre-existing medical condition’. Talk to your insurance broker if you have any condition that might cause a claim, including those being managed (such as asthma) and those which are welcome (such as pregnancy).

Excessive Excess Insurers often allow customers to choose the level of claims excess and alter the price of the policy accordingly. Higher excess means lower premiums, but bear in mind that if you set the level too high; you’re much less likely to make a claim.

Seasoned Travellers Annual multi-trip insurance is designed to provide year-round cover for regular travellers. As a rule of thumb, it makes financial sense for anyone who travels overseas three (or more) times a year, as well as providing cover in the UK. Note that single trips are typically limited to a maximum of 30 days.

Motoring Around If you are planning on driving overseas make sure that your existing car insurance provides adequate cover. Most polices do provide continental cover although it may be limited to third party. Remember that the rules of the road vary from country to country and you may need to brush-up before setting-off.

Checked-in Baggage In response to recent terror attacks the government has placed restrictions on what can be carried as hand luggage on flights to a number of Middle Eastern and North African countries. Travellers are no longer allowed to take large electronic devices as cabin baggage (including: laptops, tablets and E-readers, although smartphones are still permitted) and they must be placed in the hold. Travel insurers are still catching-up with the new legislation and may not provide cover for electronic items in the hold, so double check before jetting-off. The restrictions affect flights from: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Tunisia.

Existing Cover Premium bank accounts and credit cards often boast free travel insurance, but cover tends to be restrictive and pay-outs limited. Similarly, you may already have some provision for personal belongings in your home insurance, but you’ll be missing out on other essential areas of cover.

Don’t Delay Not only will leaving your travel insurance arrangements until the last-minute cost more, but you won’t be able to take advantage of key benefits such as ‘Cancellation & Curtailment’ and ‘Travel Delay’. And with everyone from cabin crew and ground staff to air traffic controllers threatening strike action; it could prove money well spent.

Holiday Reading Working your way through pages of policy small print might seem a bit boring, but it’s required reading. Alternatively, you can give your broker a quick call to find out exactly where you stand.

Why bother with travel insurance?

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have been busy crunching last year’s claims data and their findings make for interesting reading. Over £370million was paid-out in travel insurance claims last year (that’s more than £1million every day) to 480,000 holidaymakers. Most of the money was to cover medical treatment (£199million) followed by cancellation (£130million) and luggage (£17million).

If you’re looking for a great deal on travel insurance you’ll have to go a long way to beat Quoteline Direct. We’ve got competitive policies to suit every type of traveller and we let you choose the level of cover that’s right for you. To find out more visit our Travel Insurance pages or Tel: to speak with a member of our team.



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